My fifth floral day!! :) This is an acrylic painting. I normally paint with oils, but I've been teaching someone who wants to paint with acrylics, so I've been painting with acrylics also. It's easier to show someone how I did something when we're both working with the same medium. We both use the "Stay Wet" palette …and that's a life saver!! The paints stay open and wet on the palette, even though they dry fast on the canvas. I bought some Golden Open acrylics to experiment with, they stay wet longer on the canvas.
This painting was with those paints. I'm trying to get the acrylics to act like oils. It was fun, but acrylics just aren't soft and buttery like oil paints, still fun to paint with though!
Okay…somehow I've managed to paint flowers three days in a row. I was walking my dog this morning and was thinking ….what if I challenged myself to paint flowers everyday for a month?
Of course, just saying that is almost a jinx for me. I'm really great at convincing myself of things I should do daily….then conveniently forgetting all about it by day three or four….7 tops!
But maybe….painting flowers each day would be cool. I love looking at them. I'd love to experiment with painting them different ways. I'd love to get better at painting them. They make me feel great in the dead of winter during Alaska's darkest months….
There was a time when I thought that I never wanted to be a "flower painter". For some unknown reason in my mind, it just seemed like a cliche that I didn't want any part of. Be careful of the things you pronounce with strong emotion. Because it means you have strong feelings about them….which means... they mean something to you, deep down. Kinda like the kid on the playground that is accused of liking someone….and they protest loudly how much they DON'T like that other person!
Well, there you go.
So now I daydream about florals…heavy clumps of luscious petals, dripping with color…alive with beauty. I know I'm excited about something when I want to paint it on the biggest canvas I can find!
I just went thrift store hunting for different vases, cups and containers for beautiful flowers to nestle into…. for me to enjoy looking at for hours, while I paint. It seems like the best of both worlds…. having flowers to enjoy and exploring how to paint them in a way that brings a painting to life in front of me.
Thank you for looking! ….and thank you for reading!!
I took a two night workshop with artist Susanna Coffey last week at the Anchorage Museum.
I loved it! She was very inspiring…and had some great ideas on how to compose a night painting and thoughts about night painting in general. I used oil paints, and we all had a headlamp…so we could see our palette and painting. We would find an interesting spot to sit, with a view we were inspired by, have our palette in our lap and with one hand holding the painting, with the other, a brush to paint with. It was a pretty simple set up…a very simple way to find a moment to be outside and do a small painting….even if the day was busy, we can still take a little time to do a small plein air painting at night.
It's cold at night, but I do love being outside in the dark. That time is usually reserved for walking my dog around the neighborhood…but now, there's something else I can do :)
If you're going to try this fun activity, I will pass on the rule that we learned from our artist/teacher Susanna….. when you're done with your night painting, don't look at it that night, in a lit room…the rule is to save the first viewing for the next day. I liked that rule… it works for me.
here are few other night paintings from Alaska….
Downtown Anchorage, looking from inside a warm museum (I won't always be this lucky)
Here's my little collection of night paintings. I recommend it! You may find you love being out in the night, painting ….soaking up the quiet.
Thank you for looking!!
and if you would like to see some of Susanna Coffey's night paintings go to her website!
What if some ravens were born pink? And had black and white striped legs?
I'd love that, because that would add a great punch of color all over Anchorage, Alaska.
In the winter (which is almost outlawed to talk about in the middle of summer up here) but, I'll do it anyways…cause I'm feeling rebellious today! In the winter... all the color drains out of the frozen north for so many months. If ravens were hot pink, the road sides, parking lots….McDonalds dumpsters, street lights…would have this wonderful color calling our attention. At sunset, the color would shift and glow with ….maybe purples? Or glowing around the ravens silhouette... yellow? warm coral, oranges? Something to think about.
My brother Kevin has been entertaining me my whole life with his stories, his writing…and his humor!! I am so proud of him. Today he has made one of his life's wishes come true, he has published his first novel!!!!
I created the book cover art…..I'm so proud to ride along on his coat tails! :)
"In the haunted Victorian beach town of Cape May. New Jersey a middle aged man begins sleepwalking again and discovers he can interact with dead. What happens next is a spiritual journey to reclaim his destiny and save the lives of his family."
For sale at Amazon…download the Kindle version …$2.99
My husband and I go for walks in the evenings, on one of these walks I saw a small, empty
rum bottle…...nice label…...thick green glass. I imagined some flowers in it, looking cute on the kitchen table. My husband is very sweet…he watches me pick up junk and try to get it in my pockets, sometimes he'll carry things home for me....no questions asked. He knows I have a plan...I love that about him. I got home, gently cleaned up my new bottle. I went out on my deck and cut a stem with blossoms off my geranium …voila!!
Operation Cuteness ...Accomplished!
I placed the bottle proudly on the kitchen table...…hmmm ….but then this thought occurred to me,
I have teenage boys. Will they now feel a positive, fun attitude towards rum bottles….
Are they going to think…..mom loves rum bottles….
"lets go get us some rum bottles!"
You know that sound that tires make when they come to a screeching halt?
I heard that sound in my mind.
So guess what? It became a great still life subject!
I cut a piece of canvas and pinned it to a cork board ….just a quick painting…no commitment….fosters the "just playing around" attitude while I paint. (which is a great trick for ensuring a painting you'll end up really liking….and wishing you used a stretched canvas, lol)
Moral of the story…..
The less pressure I put on myself…and the more fun I have,
I have been having fun plein air painting this summer.
Sometimes, picking the perfect spot takes more time than the painting part….kinda silly really, there's great stuff to paint everywhere…but when I have the choice of it all, I get kinda choosey.
This is a great spot not far from home…a lake with small sheds along the shoreline, looks like a small village to me, and the sheds are colorful…and for me, that's all the more fun!
My plein air system is made by an artist in Arizona, James M. Coulter.
I love it. I bought the medium sized box. It's quick to set up and take down, it all fits in a duffle bag….I have a nice amount of mixing space for my paints….it works well for me! Here's the sight where you can find more specific information and even order one for yourself, if you like!